State Senate budget limits NC teacher, worker raises in favor of tax cuts

State Senate budget limits NC teacher, worker raises in favor of tax cuts

The Republican-led state Senate rolled out a $25.7 billion state budget proposal Monday, with measures that cut corporate income taxes, a measly 1.5 percent annual pay raise for educators and a provision that would limit a governor’s power during states of emergency.

The proposed budget fails to include the $5 billion in unreserved funds and additional $6.5 billion in tax revenues that are available to meet current needs around the state.

  • The proposed budget also fails to give state employees adequate raises — giving three percent raises over the next two years for most state employees, including teachers and UNC System and community college employees.
  • This comes as released information shows that staffers for House Speaker Tim Moore’s office received increases in raises that range from 10 percent to 31 percent over their 2019 salaries. During the same time, most state employees received a five percent raise across two years. 
  • “When presented with $6.5 billion in unexpected revenue, the NC Senate has opted to reward North Carolina educators for working nonstop to support our students through the most difficult school year in history with a pitiful 1.5 percent annual pay raise. This proposed budget shows that corporate tax cuts take priority over North Carolina students yet again,” said Tamika Kelly, President of the NC Association of Educators.

With millions in federal aid and billions in unreserved state funds, the opportunity to make once-in-a-generation investments in our state is now — yet, Republicans in the state Senate are continuing their tactics of favoring the wealthy and corporations for their own political gain. 

Instead of following Gov. Roy Cooper’s blueprint of addressing long-standing unmet needs while investing in the future of our state, the state Senate’s has laid out their continued effort of in denying North Carolinians the right to have a leader that can function in a manner that will protect the wellbeing of people across the state, and lining the pockets of rich people and big businesses.

As Gov. Roy Cooper stated, “We must invest in education, health care, child care and tax cuts for those who need it, not tax breaks for corporations and people making more than $200,000 per year”.

Bottom Line: 

At a time when many North Carolinians are struggling to maintain financial stability, there is no excuse for the Republican-led NCGA to be stingy this year. This pandemic has highlighted existing inequities and inequalities within our state and those must be addressed in order for every community to have an equitable recovery.

Alanna Joyner

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